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Pheeroan akLaff

Montclair, NJ         

Pheeroan akLaff  reflects music centered in ritual and imagination. He is connected to a milieu of mid-seventies music pioneers including Andrew Hill, Cecil Taylor, Reggie Workman, Henry Threadgill, Sonny Sharrock, Yamashita Yosuke, and maintains collaborations with a wide range of composers.

Originally from Detroit. First recording: Remember Me Always by Emanuel Lasky. 

Moved to New Haven with Dwight Andrews, and the Deja Vu band, and made lots of friends. Jay Hoggard, Nat Adderley Jr.,Wadada Leo Smith, Oliver LakeAnthony Davis, James Newton,  Rick Rozie, Henry Threadgill, Amina Claudine Myers, Michael Gregory Jackson, Mario Pavone, Joe Celli, Mixashawn Rozie, Gerry Hemingway, Ed Cherry, Mark Helias, Robert Ferris Thompson, Sydney Smart, Khalid Lum, Amiri Baraka. 

 selected performances and workshops in music, theater, and dance

1976 – 1983 NYSF Jazz at the Public Theater with Julius Hemphill, Mike Nock, Ntozake Shange, Jessica Hagedorn and more.

1977 began international touring with Oliver Lake

1981  Abidjian Cote D’Ivoire with the Marie Rose Dance Company 

1982 U.S. I.S. Malawi, Swaziland, Cote D’Ivoire Togo and Liberia, with the Oliver Lake and Jump Up band

1984  Jazz Yatra Mumbai with the Henry Threadgill Sextet

1985 U.S.I.S. Morocco, Syria, Jordan, Sudan, Egypt and India with Jay Hoggard

1988  began international touring with Yosuke Yamashita and Cecil McBee

1989 released quartet CD Sonogram

1992-93 akLaff ensemble Europe, 1994 akLaff ensemble Japan, 1996 akLaff ensemble Australia

1997 released large ensemble CD; Global Mantras

2000 NYFA composer award, China tour with Liu Sola

2003  Australia and New Zealand with Oliver Lake and Baikida Carroll, duo recording with Anthony Braxton

2006 co founded  Seed Artists Inc.*

2007 Lecturer at Conference on Art and Spirituality;  MyUni- Saalfelden, Austria 

2008  akLaff trio Japan tour, music curator at Kampo Bahal gallery Soho

2010  akLaff trio tour Japan, workshops at Universidad de Javierna, Bogota, Colombia

2011 Solo concert at Music Gallery Toronto, Canada

2014 Produced Eric Dolphy: Freedom of Sound festival Montclair,  akLaff quartet tour Japan 

2015 Began local concerts productions, youth art workshops and senior jazz listen series with Seed Artists; curated by Chris Napierala, collaborating with Montclair Public Library, galleries, schools and churches.

2016- Music and neuroscience concert with Dr. Julian F. Thayer, Mc Master University Ontario Canada

2017-  Music and neuroscience research with Dr. Psyche Loui Wesleyan University, collaborated with National Jazz Museum of Harlem to produce Howard Johnson ensemble

2018- Advisory Board Member; City Of Asylum Pittsburg, workshop at Jyderup Accordion; Denmark, Solo concert at Issue Project Room, Brooklyn NY, Produced Randy Weston concert a JCAL with Cathy Hung

2019  Produced Freedom of Sound: percussion festival, received New Music USA award, collaborator at Headz;   Urs Fisher/Spencer Sweeney,  Berlin, Germany 

*Seed Artists has produced over 50 concerts and maintains a mission of paying artists, developing inter-generational programming, and donating to community causes. We have collaborated with William Patterson University, Montclair State University,The Montclair Public Library, The National Jazz Museum of Harlem, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, local Art Galleries, Middle Schools, and recidivism programs.   We have presented Richard Davis, Milford Graves, Howard Johnson, Randy Weston, Gunther Schuller, Sheila Jordan, Warren Smith, Andrew Cyrille, Billy Hart, Don Byron, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Martin Vejerano  and a host of creative  musicians.